MANCHESTER UNITED midfielder Anderson was dragged unconscious from the burning wreckage of his car after a weekend crash that is now the centre of a police investigation in Portugal.
Anderson, signed for £18 million (€21.6m) three years ago, spent several hours in hospital after the accident on a rural road in the Geres area of Braga, with witnesses reporting he owed his life to being pulled "lifeless’’ from the vehicle shortly before it exploded.
According to local reports, the 22-year-old Anderson, increasingly becoming renowned for his partying lifestyle, had spent the night at the Sardinha Biba nightclub before leaving in an Audi R8.
The crash occurred when the high-powered car came off the road and hit the wall of a farm before flying into a field.
Although the French-registered car was a two-seater, Anderson had two companions – a friend, whose name was given only as Victor, and a young Brazilian woman, whose details have not been released.
It is unclear who was driving but there were unconfirmed allegations it could lead to a drink-driving charge and a possible offence of allegedly having excess passengers.
Manchester United were unavailable for comment on the matter last night.
All three were taken to St Mark’s hospital but were later discharged after being treated for concussion, whiplash and shock. "They had only minor injuries,’’ a hospital spokesman, Roman Fresco, said.
The Portuguese press quoted the Gestifute agency, which represents Anderson, as saying the former Porto player had suffered an "almighty scare’’ but would be returning to Manchester to continue his rehabilitation.
Anderson ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee in February, an injury that ended hopes of him participating in the World Cup, and he is not expected to be fit until next month at the earliest.